Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) plans to release its less expensive, 100% electric $35,000 Model 3 in “late 2017”. Tesla Motors Inc Elon Musk gave himself the deadline while speaking at the Edison Electric Institute Annual Convention on Monday. The Model 3 is the EV that will drive sales above 500,000 by 2020 according to the official Tesla Motors forecasts.
The firm will get its mass market EV out to the public just two years after the Model X if the date given by Musk turns out to be right. That would be a great achievement for Tesla. The Model S came out in 2012, and it’s taken more than 3 years to get the Model X onto the road. Mr. Musk still expects to ship the first unit of the SUV by the end of the third quarter.
Tesla Motors gets battery on track
Elon Musk waxed on about a lot of his projects during today’s talk, but the CEO was mostly addressed his firm’s battery project, Tesla Energy. The exec said that he is looking for solar to become the number one source of world energy going ahead, and that solar will make electricity sustainable.
He said that the Powerwall was more about security of supply than it was about saving money, and that 80 – 90 percent of sales for his battery are going to come from big business rather than small residential buyers.
Some utilities are buying into the battery pack so that they can provide more stable solar energy to their customers. That may be the sort of buying that Musk expects to dominate Tesla Motors power storage sales going ahead.
Mr Musk also said he did not want to disrupt markets for no reason. He said that the grid needed to be disrupted and that there was still a positive future for firms out there. Less than one third of power will come from distributed systems according to Mr. Musk.
At the same time demand for power from utilities should double, though the Tesla Motors CEO did not put a timeline on that jump in usage.
Model 3 deadlines get tighter
Tesla Motors will host its shareholder meeting for 2015 on Tuesday June 9, and the firm’s investors will be looking to hear more about Mr. Musk’s hopes for the future of power. They’ll be more interested, however, in his short term predictions for the car market.
Mr. Musk has promised to sell 55,000 cars this year, but the Model X is not likely to ship until the end of the third quarter. The car has been reserved by more than 20,000 people already meaning a long queue.
Adam Jonas of Morgan Stanley reckons that Tesla Motors will ship just over 5,000 units of the Model X before the end of the year.
That means there may be a huge lag in supply for the Model 3, and the deadline that Mr. Musk has put on the car’s release is tight. We’ll hear more about the firm’s plans for the car market tomorrow at that meeting.
Tesla Motors may have a chance to shed more light on its path to getting the Model 3 out there, just two years after shipping the first Model X.